“When Saul had taken the kingship over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side… Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malchi-shua.” (1 Samuel 14:47-49).
The book of Samuel is a history book about the people of Israel and their first kings. Previously, “there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). People were unfaithful to God, which led to all kinds of moral and religious excesses. As a response, the Lord God allowed enemies to invade the country. Israel’s situation went from bad to worse. But when the people repented and turned back to God, He told the prophet Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me” (1 Samuel 9:16). This man was Saul. He became Israel’s first king.
Against this background, we read about Jonathan. He was Saul’s firstborn son and joined his father in war. As the oldest prince, it was expected that Jonathan would one day become king of Israel himself. His career seemed a given. But his life took a different turn — as we will see in a few days.
What is your view of ancient Bible stories? How are they relevant for your life?